Tuesday, December 13, 2005

There's reality and then there's me

The latest edition of The Choice on Radio 4 features a Manchester United fan (name not given on the website, to which I'd send you if only it were worth the trouble), who surrendered his season ticket when Malcolm Glazer took control of the club. A very articulate fan. He spoke very well of what it means to be a fan. Not the winning (that's what he said), but the connection with all the others on the hill; lifting the Cup at the Camp Nou; running away from some Liverpool scallies after lifting the FA Cup. He spoke about the way that for 2 hours you can forget who you are and where you come from as the men on the field live out your dreams and fantasies. And a business model applied to all that entirely misses the point. Michael Beurk very reasonably pointed out that every quality he applied to being a fan (well, maybe not being chased by Liverpool scallies) was equally true of being a fan of Hollywood movies. Would he suggest that they become a non-profit venture?
Both men are right. The romanticism of the fan creates; but the business model maintains and grows. No, the business man does not feel the passion of the fan. But he knows the passion of survival.

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